Art Information Registry (AIR)

1969 – 1977

AIR (Art Information Registry) was a catalyst organisation impartially providing two-way information between artists and their public, including organisers of exhibitions, events, performances, dealers and collectors, cultural organisations and art services. It held a detailed index of artists and related resources, for consultation, which led to many exhibitions and commissions.

Catalyst, compiled by Jos Tilson 1969 – c1976, was the first directory which was made up of an alphabetical list of artists plus a classified index, posted to subscribers four times a year. Its aim was to make artists more aware of alternative platforms open to them with the emergence of directories and registries throughout the UK. 8 March 1972 saw the Bristol Conference of Regional Arts Associations and AIR regarding practical ways of implementing exchange of material. At its heyday it had 500 artists on its books and 12,000 of their slides at its gallery in Shaftesbury Avenue. For £3.50 a year membership, young artists had a chance to show their work in the 2,000 square yards of space at Shaftesbury Avenue and put their work on record in the registry. It also provided a newsletter. After funding for the Registry came to an end, it continued with AIR Gallery at Shaftesbury Avenue WC1 and then at Rosebery Avenue EC1.